Charting the New Hampshire Lakes since 1967®
Central Lakes Region | Lake Winnipesaukee | Winnisquam Lake | Newfound Lake | Ossipee Lake |  Squam Lake


Lake Winnipesaukee 
Winnisquam Lake
Newfound Lake
Central Lakes
Lake Sunapee
Ossipee Lake
Squam Lake

Ours vs. Other's Features
Winnipesaukee Changes
Winnisquam Changes
Newfound Changes
Ossipee Changes

Our Founder
Our Owner
Our Advisors
Legal stuff
Web Master:

How is the 4.1 Edition Duncan Press Lake Winnipesaukee Navigation Chart different from the ‘Old Green Map?’

The "Old Green Map," 1967 to 2001

The new 2015 Lake Winni Chart

The "Old Green Map" is a classic. Thousands of people over the years have collected them, used them, and, most of all, loved them. So why change a chart that has been so revered for forty plus years?

Duncan M. Fitchet, Sally Fichet's uncle, was an internationally-recognized professional cartographer for more than 40 years. A Massachusetts native, a graduate in Geography from Dartmouth, and an executive from Rand McNally, he co-founded and was U.S. representative and vice president of the International Cartographic Association.

As a hobby, Dunc also founded Duncan Fitchet Cartography Company in 1967. He drew, published, and marketed navigation charts of Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam, Newfound, Ossipee, and Sunapee lakes. They sold well, and Dunc did not have any competition.

Dunc died in 1992, but his son, Duncan Jr, took over the company, selling Duncan's old maps for the next five years. On January 1, 1998, Sally Fichet bought out Dunc Jr and founded Duncan Press Incorporated.


In fact, the new design takes its cue from Duncan Fitchet's Old Green Map design. A large part of the data, too, was taken from Fitchet's old data.

Beginning in 1998, Sally Fichet was responsible for Duncan's charts, and, again, they sold extremely well. But in early 2002, she decided to take the maps into the next generation. She hired Stuart Allan of Allan Cartography, a small but well-known firm in Medford, Oregon, to guide the project.

Stuart Allan retired in 2012. For the 4.1 Edition, his next-in-command, Neil Allen of Benchmart Maps, took over the chart's supervision. Together, Neil and Sally have achieved their goal. Read on for particulars on map design.


Section of Old Green Map base map

Section of 4.1 Edition Duncan Press base map

The most important design difference in 2015 is the base map. Where Duncan Fitchet used orthophotos as a basis for his chart, Sally and Neil use a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) instead, because it gave a much clearer picture of the hills and valleys of the Lakes Region. The Green Map orthophotos made the area look like topography, and many users thought it was, but the land was actually cleared or forested acreage with occasionally a town, barely visible. With DEM as the base map, the landscape was more realistic.


Old Green Map buoys

4th Ed. Duncan Press buoys

It's impossible to boat around Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam, Newfound and Ossipee without some knowledge of lake buoys. The annual accident and death rates prove that.

The Competitor vs Duncan Press Buoys

In the case of a cardinal buoy and it's numbered black or red buoy, Duncan Press has two buoys shown. The competitor has only one throughout the map. This is a DANGEROUS shortcut, especially when the map's buyer is a boater not experienced on Winni's waters.
Suppose you are a new pilot on Winni. You have a competitor's "chart." You encounter two buoys, hundreds of feet apart, one red and white and one numbered orange. You check your chart. It says there is one numbered buoy. That's all. Which way do you go? The red and white buoy is nowhere to be found.

If you had the Duncan Press chart, the way would be clear. You would go to the west of both buoys.

2015 4.1 Edition Duncan Press

2012 (latest) Competitor's map

Buoys and their numbers

Old Green Map buoys

Duncan Press buoys, now with numbers

In the mid-sixties, Duncan Fitchet used math to place all the buoys securely on the charts. All 700+ of them. Now, all the buoys are placed on our chart by a Global Positioning System (GPS).

Starting in 2003, Marine Patroller Jim Beach, using his own GPS, his own boat, and on his own time, shot the buoys, numbered them, fixed their GPS readings (waypoints), and offered the results to the Marine Patrol and to Sally Fichet. Sally tested the results and came within 4% of Jim's, close enough so that she made Jim's results part of her 3rd edition chart of Lake Winnipesaukee and the prototype editions of the other lakes in the group.

The result is that 100% of the 700+ buoys on the Winnipesaukee chart are covered by numbers, as you can see from the previous illustration of Duncan Press buoys. Marine Patrol Captain Dunleavy and his crew are working with us to make sure the buoys are as complete and accurate as we can make them!

Now all the buoys have individuality.

All of the buoys DO NOT have identifying numbers ON THEM, except for the numbered buoys.

Differences from ocean buoys

Duncan Press buoys, now with numbers

Competitor's map

Lake buoys are round plastic posts, not mechanical metal instruments. Duncan Fitchet's buoy symbols are appropriate, and simple symbols make a chart more readable and attractive, like the Old Green Map. Therefore Duncan Press continues to use them.

Size of the buoys on the charts

Old Green Map buoys

Duncan Press buoys

Each buoy on the Old Green Map, and hence each Duncan Press buoy, is 1/16 inch, large enough to see but not big enough to take up an inordinate amount of space. If the buoys were really that size, they would be 165 feet on the water rather than the 6 inches or so that they truly are.

Placement of the buoys on the charts

Old Green Map buoys

Duncan Press buoys

Most of the buoys stay in the water by slack lines going to the bottom, where they are held by weights. Consequently, whenever the wind blows or whenever the lake rises or sinks, or both (which often happens), the buoys move. Therefore, users are warned that buoy positions are approximate, both on the Old Green Map and on Duncan Press charts. This is normal.


The Fourth Edition has something new. In 2014, Captain Dunleavy and Sally Fichet placed more than twenty no-wake AREAS, in yellow, on the chart. Now, by legislative command, pilots must reduce speed to "no-wake" (not more than six miles an hour) when in these areas. Now, boats must go up to six miles an hour:
  • Within 150 feet of bridges, shoreline, other boats, skiers, swimmers, rafts, docks, loons, or mooring fields, and/or...
  • Within 10 feet of No-Wake buoy, or, when there are two No-Wake buoys, between them, and/or...
  • While in yellow-colored areas on the chart.

No-Wake areas: Hole-in-the-Wall


Old Green Map buoys with courses

Duncan Press buoys with courses

Courses around the buoys are expressed as curved lines, and, again, they are Duncan Fitchet's idea. Sally does this instead of straight lines, the oceanographic symbol, because the buoys around which the lines go are mostly cardinal buoys, not lateral buoys passed by starboard or port. Furthermore, there are about a dozen instances where the "incorrect" way around a buoy is actually the correct one. In these cases, the boat should pass northwest of the redtop buoy and southeast of the blacktop. Obviously, a boat must have a chart that says this.


Old Green Map depths

Duncan Press depths

Depths constitute the second-biggest design divergence from Duncan Fitchet's chart to Sally's. In 1966 New Hampshire Fish and Game took a survey of the depths on Winnipesaukee, Newfound, Winnisquam, Ossipee, and Sunapee and shared the data with Duncan Fitchet. Dunc's chart has white-colored water and blue lines showing depths, blue Italic numerals showing depths in feet, blue shapes showing shoals of six feet or under, and asterisks symbolizing rocks, both under the surface and visible. Dunc also had soundings in feet symbolized in blue Italic type.

Stuart Allan's design has not only blue lines but blue shapes symbolizing the different depths. In addition, Sally switched from blue shapes to orange to show the shoals. Finally, Sally symbolized the rocks as black asterisks, as in Duncan's charts.

Stuart, Neil and Sally diverged from the original design because they thought, and many of the marina owners had the same opinion, that boat operators would have an easier time seeing depths as lines and colored shapes than they would just lines.

The Duncan Press charts were made from the data from Duncan Fitchet's charts. Nothing was added or taken away except new data from the various agencies, including wrecks. Depths and shoals stayed the same. Rocks were added to or taken away by Marine Patrol data and by Sally Fichet's boat trips on the lakes.


Old Green Map orientation

Duncan Press orientation

Originally, the Old Green Map was printed on one side and the orientation was northeast-up, for size and economics. Then, when Dunc Jr inherited the company, the chart was printed on two sides: one side for the chart and the other side for a warning, although northeast was up again. When Sally took over and designed her own chart, the choice presented itself once again: northeast being up or, finally, north-up.

North-up made it easier to tell which was north, south, east, or west. Therefore, the decision was north-up.


Old Green Map border

Duncan Press border

The next problem was the lat/lon lines. The Old Green Map had faint lines, marked on the border, but they were hard to notice. With the popularity of GPS, however, lat/lon lines started to matter on inland charts, so Duncan Press clearly had to have something. Stuart, Neil and Sally decided on faint red lines over the whole map, with bigger red degree markings on the borders, a traditional decision.


Old Green Map compass rose

Duncan Press compass rose

Dunc's design had the compass rose needle pointing magnetic north, along the very light lat/lon lines on the chart. People were using compasses to direct them and Dunc was making it easy on boaters: they did not have to make 16 degree corrections to have their maps pointing the way that their compasses were pointing. It was automatic.

Now most boaters are using GPS instead of the compass for direction. That's why Duncan Press shifted to TRUE north instead of the magnetic north.

The declination for the year was received from NOAA. Duncan Press copied the design from the Old Green Map, with some changes. Among them was that the compass rose changed from black to magenta, a more traditional color.


Duncan Press projections are transverse Mercator. The reason for this is in a quote from Borden D. Dent, in his basic book, Cartography: Thematic Map Design:

" ...The USCGS ... decided to use three conformal projections to map the states: the Lambert conformal conic for states with long east-west dimensions, the transverse Mercator for states with long north-south dimensions, and the oblique Mercator for portions of Alaska."


Duncan's original scale on Winnipesaukee was 1:39,370, or 1 inch equals 1 kilometer. The Fourth Edition Lake Winnipesaukee navigation chart has it too. The 2015 4.1 Edition has a bit smaller, 1:40,788, or 1 inch equals 0.64 statute miles.


Old Green Map typefaces

Duncan Press typefaces and symbols

Duncan Press uses the map typestyle standard, just as the Old Green Map does. For example, hydrographic features are set in serif italic; land features are mostly in sans serif roman. Also, Duncan Press doesn't mark a possessive noun with apostrophes.

However, perhaps the most notable difference between the Old Green Map and the newer Duncan Press design is what doesn't go into type anymore. Notice the left panel, "no-wake," "NAVIGATE WITH CAUTION," "PUBLIC DOCK," and "PUBLIC BEACH" in red type. In the right panel, they have shifted to symbols: a tiny orange diamond for "no-wake," a barred circle with a two boats in it for "NO RAFTING," a blue triangle for "MARINA," and so on. That was to render the chart more readable -- as long as the user has read the legend box!


Old Green Map spot color

Duncan Press process color

The Old Green Map was printed in four "spot colors," red, green, blue, and black. Stuart, Neil and Sally decided to shift to process color, opening a new world for the charts. The designers now had thousands of colors to work with instead of just four.

First, the "no-wake" buoys could now be an orange diamond, a natural for buoys that actually were orange and white on the lakes. Next, the color of the water had to be emphasized. No more white with blue lines. Following depths, the shoals now had to be changed from blue. Sally picked orange again because the shoals were actually orangey-tan on the lakes. The color of the compass rose could now be magenta, as mentioned above.

Now that the important colors were set, the secondary shades could be determined. For example, green hadn't been used for symbols or type on the Old Green Map, but it was on the Duncan Press design, for youth camps, loon sanctuaries, parks, public beaches and museums. Finally, Duncan Press put the yacht clubs in purple, sans serif, roman type. For the Fourth Edition, the yacht clubs were changed to gray, a slightly more "private yacht club" feeling than purple.


Old Green Map fish habitats

Duncan Press fish habitats

Dunc knew about lake fishing, and he had a simple way to symbolize fish on the chart. He used blue sans serif italic capitals to specify the type of fish that was lurking in a particular place. For example, LT was used for lake trout, LMB for largemouth bass, and S for salmon.

The Old Green Map had nine species. By the time Sally had the new design, Fish and Game had added two more. Two fisheries biologists from the NH Fish and Game supplied the fish information.


Unlike Duncan Fitchet, Sally Fichet thought lake inflows would be appropriate for a fishing map, and later user response said she was right. She asked for and received information from the NH Department of Environmental Services. Then she made the inflows part of the charts by locating 30 blue arrows in the streams where they should be, and one red arrow signifying outflow at Irwin's. She followed the Lake Winnipesaukee chart with the charts for Winnisquam and Newfound the next year. The figures below show the final results for the Lake Winnipesaukee chart.

Duncan Press inflow

Duncan Press outflow


The preceding features are a few of the most important differences between Duncan's Old Green Map and Sally Fichet's Duncan Press Lake Winnipesaukee chart. There are several more reasons, and you can find them in the chart itself.


6/14/2007, 7/5/2009, 4/08/2013, 7/10/2013, 11/2/2013, 4/1/2014, 8/6/2015, 10/17/2017


Buy on the Internet!
©2018, Sally Anne Fichet
Charting the New Hampshire Lakes Since 1967®
PO Box 1253, Center Harbor, New Hampshire 03226
Last modified 1 April 2018